2019/20: An Incredible Journey. Match Day 12 – Friday 27 September 2019: Blackpool v Lincoln City

A Friday night adventure with a visit to Blackpool to see the mighty Imps!

My links to Lincoln City go back to the ten years I lived there. My dad came out of the Air Force after being posted to RAF Scampton (about 6 miles from Lincoln), home of the Dambusters Squadron 617 and we stayed on in the area. My dad would take me to local games such as Nottingham Forest and we would make regular trips to London to see my nan, (my dad’s mum), but primarily Lincoln City who were languishing in the Fourth Division (what is now League Two). We used to stand on the old Sincil Bank terrace along the west side of the ground. When I got older, I used to go with school friends Rob and Julian. In 1972 along came Graham Taylor as manager. He won promotion for Lincoln in 1975/76 and moved to Watford – you all know his story from then.

Lincoln City 1975/76

However, that Lincoln team still lives on in my memory. Dennis Booth (a journeyman midfielder who came via Charlton, Blackpool and Southend), Ian Branfoot (best remembered for his managerial career with Reading, Southampton and Fulham), Terry Cooper (not the Leeds United one), Sam Ellis (former Sheffield Wednesday centre half), John Fleming, “Big Percy” Freeman, Peter Grotier (former West Ham keeper), Dick Krzywicki (as well as an answer to an old football question, former Huddersfield and West Brom winger and Welsh international), Dennis Leigh (a local lad via Doncaster and Rotherham), Phil Neale (the footballer/cricketer who played for Worcestershire CCC and also Scunthorpe United with Ian “Beefy” Botham), Dave Smith (long standing outside left – number 10), John Ward (a local lad and prolific goal-scorer better known for his managerial career where he took charge of nine clubs) and Tony Woodcock (on loan from Nottingham Forest before he became an England international, First Division winner and European Cup winner).

Matchday programme cover

It’s 70 miles to Blackpool, I’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and I’m wearing sunglasses…Hit it!! It’s all motorway from Huddersfield to Blackpool M62, M61 and M55, but it’s a Friday night and I have to go through Manchester at the tail end of the rush hour so I thought I would give it two hours, well…It was pissing down all the way, road works, traffic hold ups round the M62/M62 junction and when I hit the outskirts of Blackpool the traffic was backed up all the way along two miles of Yeadon Lane heading into Blackpool. Fortunately, I managed to find off-street parking close to the ground but had missed the first 25 minutes. I picked up my ticket from the club shop, which was closing, there no vendors left outside the ground, so no programme and I had to almost batter a door down to get a steward to let me in. I took my seat and the score was already 2 – 1 to Blackpool.

So what had I missed dear readers? Well, here is what the Blackpool FC website said about the opening of the game:

It was Lincoln’s on-loan Nottingham Forest forward Tyler Walker who had the first opportunity of the game, cutting inside and forcing a save out of Jak Alnwick. Minutes later, Blackpool opened the scoring. Sean Scannell, making his first league start since signing for the club, latched onto a cut-back from Liam Feeney and rifled the ball into the top corner. The Seasiders then had Alnwick to thank again for preserving the lead, as he scampered across goal to push away an 18-yard drive from Jack Payne. At the other end, Armand Gnanduillet was frustrated to nod over the bar when left unmarked from a Liam Feeney corner. Then came an individual bit of brilliance. Jordan Thompson picked up the ball off Feeney on the edge of the box, nutmegged his marker and curled the ball into the far corner to put Blackpool two goals up. The visitors weren’t affected by that goal though and quickly reduced the deficit. A cross into the box deflected into the path of Jack Payne, who blasted the ball into the net.

Match action

Once I had taken my seat, Blackpool were then forced to scramble the ball away when a Ben Heneghan clearance rebounded off Matty Virtue and presented a chance to Lincoln’s Payne. However, he was denied by ‘keeper Alnwick. Later the half the other real effort came via Lincoln’s Harry Toffolo whose cross just evaded Walker at the back post.

Into the second-half and in a lively opening, Blackpool nearly went 3-1 up when a Gnanduillet shot took a deflection and went just past the post. Lincoln responded with the Imps captain Jason Shackell having a real golden opportunity to level the game as from a free-kick he headed wide of the goal. The home side looked to change things up with a double substitution just after the hour mark, and it nearly gave Blackpool a third goal when Thompson had a great chance but was denied by a cracking save from John Vickers. The game became more cat and mouse as it entered the final quarter, but despite the efforts of the Imps, it was Blackpool who took the points with a 2-1 win.

Blackpool were to feature later in the season on my journey and ironically another incident involving the car…watch this space.


Friday 27 September 2019

Sky Bet League One

Blackpool 2 (Scannell 11’, Thompson 21’) Lincoln City 1 (Payne 24’)

Venue: Bloomfield Road

Attendance: 9,203

Blackpool – Alnwick, Turton, Heneghan, Tilt, Husband, Spearing, Virtue (Guy 62), Thompson, Feeney, Scannell (Macdonald 62), Gnanduillet.

Unused substitutes – Mafoumbi, Bushiri, Edwards, Shaw, Hardie.

Lincoln City – Vickers, Eardley, Bolger, Shakell, Toffolo, Connelly, Morrell, Andrerson (Grant 49’), Payne, Carvalho Andrade, Walker.

Unused substitutes – O’Conner, Chapman, Smith, Lewis, Melbourne, Akinde


Steve Blighton

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Posted June 16, 2020 by Editor in category "2019/20: An Incredible Journey

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